Cybersecurity

Ask CFR Experts

Is the threat of a "cyber Pearl Harbor" as potent as some have suggested?

Asked by James Bingham, from King's College, London

The phrase "cyber Pearl Harbor" received attention when it by former defense secretary Leon E. Panetta in a speech about U.S. vulnerability to cyberwarfare threats. It is best understood as an effort to shape the domestic political debate and as a description of a potential future scenario, rather than as an accurate description of the cybersecurity threat.

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Task Force Report No. 70

Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet

The CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, Defending an Open, Global, Secure, and Resilient Internet, finds that as more people and services become interconnected and dependent on the Internet, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks. To support security, innovation, growth, and the free flow of information, the Task Force recommends that the United States and its partners work to build a cyber alliance, make the free flow of information a part of all future trade agreements, and articulate an inclusive and robust vision of Internet governance.

See more in Global; Cybersecurity; Internet Policy

Op-Ed

Shaming Chinese Hackers Won't Work Because Cyber Espionage is Here to Stay

Author: Adam Segal
The Guardian

In preparation for President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama's meeting in California on June 7-9, Adam Segal writes, "The presidents won't come to any agreements next week, but over the course of the two days, they should try and dispel the growing mistrust by explaining their national interests and intentions in cyberspace."

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Primary Sources

House Resolution 624, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

The House of Representatives introduced CISPA on February 13, 2013 and passed it on April 18, 2013. The full title is "to provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities, and for other purposes." Related acts include Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act).

See more in United States; Cybersecurity; Intelligence

Article

The People's Republic of Hacking

Author: Adam Segal
Foreign Policy

Adam Segal says the recent Chinese cyberattacks on Bloomberg and the New York Times highlights both the willingness of Beijing to shape the narrative about China, as well as the vulnerability the top leadership feels about how they are portrayed.

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Primary Sources

Homeland Security Advisory Council: Cyber Skills Task Force Report

On June 6, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the formation of
Task Force on CyberSkills, which would "identify the best ways DHS can foster the development of a national security workforce capable of meeting current and future cybersecurity challenges; and second, to outline how DHS can improve its capability to recruit and retain that sophisticated cybersecurity talent."

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Primary Sources

U.S. Department of Homeland Security: Ethical Principles Guiding Information and Communication Technology Research (Menlo Report)

Published in December 2011 and amended in August 2012, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a framework for ethical guidelines for computer and information security research. The framework was informed by the three principles of the 1979 Belmont Report for ethical research in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, Respect for Persons, Beneficence, and Justice. The Menlo Report adds the principle Respect for Law and Public Interest.

See more in United States; Internet Policy; Cybersecurity